Cycling in Sydney Australia
Wed 23.7.14 - I counted 3 bikes in 45 minutes on Cleveland Street, just after dark, completely without lights, in the kerbside lane.
It's clear to me that these cyclists have no idea how difficult it is for motorists to see un-lit cycles, just after dark, on a busy road like Cleveland St. If this is in any way typical of a Sydney arterial, no wonder cyclists are getting killed and injured.
I thought of writing to the papers, but that probably wouldn't reach these riders. Someone's going to ket killed! What can we do?
Well no. Sorry Dan. Ride out here beside Terry's Creek. You would realistically assume a cyclist would ensure they were visible. Yet unfortunately those who are unlit cannot be seen in advance. By daylight I can predict my line around bind corners. By night I have to ride at half pace, making my arrival at home about half an hour later so as to not hit the inlit ignorami.
Good. So you ride to the conditions; when visibility is poor (dark, fog, rain etc), you have to ride slower. Bingo. Where's the problem?
The problem is those who think they are entitled to ride / drive at the same speed in those conditions as in daylight, and think that it's the responsibility of others to ensure that they are able to do so with impunity.
(I'll probably being deliberately inflammatory, as my feelings on this are coloured by being hit by a car driver just the other night. I have two excellent bright lights on my bike, and he also had headlights pointing straight at me...)
I saw a cyclist in the CBD last week coming down the street, without lights and some pedestrians were crossing the road ahead - The cyclist assumed the pedestrians had seen her but they obviously had not - Most people are conditioned to look for cars (hence they even miss motorcycles) but I'm sure the lack of lights was a contributing factor in this case too as it was point blank range.
A very close call (and a big shriek) but thankfully no collision - The cyclist was travelling at a pretty serious speed too!
I must admit though, I haven't noticed too many people without lights so not sure how big an issue it is in Sydney...
Took some pics this evening to show some guys i work with why i think they should have more than a dim little 1 LED light on their bikes. Thought id share a pew pics here also. Note this is not looking through a car side window either. Most had lights. Some were very bright but many were not very bright at all. Many also had only a tail light. In the 15 or 20 min i was out there I would have seen about 15 or more with out any lights at all. So if you want to bee seen you decide who is more noticeable .
I continue to be concerned about the safety of unlit riders and what might be done to save them from injury or death.
Rather than trying to intercept them and explain the difficulty motorists might have in avoiding them (which I have previously suggested), what about a cheap flyer? Stopping them and attempting to conduct a conversation amounting to a safety lecture might not go down too well, but if I (I mean, WE) were to carry a small brochure / flyer explaining the size of the risk they are taking, they might just read it at the end of their journey and adopt the suggestion(s) therein..
Does any BUG feel motivated to design, print, and organise distribution of such a cheap brochure?
Am I wrong or would those people just shrug and say "f... off". That is what they say to me. Their attitude is ..."I can see so what's the fuss about. mind your own business".
They bought a bike and it had no lights.
what is the legal requirement for selling a bike Noel? bell, reflectors (front/rear/side?). Obviously not lights.
IANAL and IHNFI but I would hazard a guess that although there is a standard that applies to business selling bikes, one doesn't apply private individuals reselling them (i.e. second hand). When you sell a secondhand car you need to have a recent (withing 30 days?) pink slip from memory, but as there is no requirement for a bike to have or maintain something similar, a private reseller couldn't be expected to provide one. Instead it is reincumbent on the user to ensure it meets the legal requirement when used on the road.
Note the only reflector requirement by law is a red, rear-facing one (of a certain size, viewable from either 100 or 200m with normal beam headlights aimed at it), if being ridden at night.
I once purchased a new road bike that came out of the factory without pedals (as many do, knowing most riders have a particular preference), and I had some to fit to it, but the store wouldn't let me wheel it out of the shop without installing some cheap and cheerful flat, plastic pedals to it, in order to ensure they were abiding by the standard. It also had a bell installed (not sure where that is now) but no reflectors (which saved me having to remove them, and return them to the store with the pedals for use on the next pedal-less bike they sold.
I actually like the idea of spreading the word on cycle safety to city commuters. I have been thinking about putting some basic materials together in a way to also promote a site I've just launched (yes there is a bit of a commercial interest there I guess) but the main difficulty is distribution as me walking/riding around the city handing these out is going to reach a very limited number of people!
There will be many that shrug it off, but if drip fed in a non confronting way it might actually lead to greater awareness over time.